External Hard Drive Question for Imac (USB 2.0 vs FireWire 400)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mac2004, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Mac2004 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #1
    Which external hard drive should I get for my new 24 inch iMac?

    Western Digital MyBook Home Edition 500GB with USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 for $119.

    or....

    Western Digital MyBook Essential Edition 1TB (terabyte) with only USB 2.0
    connection for $129 (No FireWire 400).

    All I back up are my important documents, IPhoto Library (12,000 photos - currently 5.4 GB in size), ITunes Library (which is less than 200 songs), and some clip art images.

    Is the FireWire 400 connectivity more important than the extra 500GB in hard drive space and would I ever even use more than 500GB of space when on my computer I am only using 50GB of my hard drive right now.

    Lastly, did Western Digital make a change to their external hard drives in the past 1-2 years. I have an old one where the blue circle moves around when backing up and it was noisy. I noticed that the newer ones are a lot quieter now and they don't make much noise??
     
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #2
    Based on what you're working with, you probably don't need the extra speed of Firewire (although note that with a 24" iMac, you also have Firewire 800 in addition to 400). If you were working with a project in a high-end program that required constant reading or writing to the external, I'd say Firewire. If you're just backing up, get the extra 500B and use USB.
     
  3. kid rock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Location:
    Southend-on-sea, Essex, England
    #3
    I would also go for the extra space, as I assume you are going to be using timemachine to do your backups, the back up will take longer with USB than firewire but if you dont need the higher speeds, then higher cappacity for the win!


    Simon
     
  4. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #4
    I was going to suggest building your own external drive using parts like this or this and either this or this. But then I saw the prices and saw that getting a preconfigured external drive from WD is cheaper. So go for either. Then again, building your own 1TB drive will set you off anywhere between $164 or $183, which is only $35 to $54 more expensive than the 1TB USB-only WD drive. Plus, you get 3 years warranty on the Samsung drive and even 5 years on the Seagate drive when building your own. On the WD My Book Essential drive, you only get 1 year. On the Home Edition, you get 3 years. I went for building my own using Seagate drives, just for their excellent warranty. And, with the OWC drive enclosure, you get the excellent Oxford 934 chipset. Extremely reliable and really fast.

    So, wrapping my story up, you pay a maximum of $54 extra, which will get you both a 1TB drive and FW400. You even get the Oxford 934 chipset. And on top of that, you get 5 years of warranty, whereas you get only 1 year with the WD My Book Essential drive.

    See for yourself what that's all worth to you.
     
  5. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #5
    What drive did you get? Did you get one of the two WDs? Did you get a DIY kit? Let us know; always nice to hear what people eventually got.
     
  6. kid rock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Location:
    Southend-on-sea, Essex, England
    #6
    indeed :D
     
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #7
    based on your needs, it doesn't sound like you need either 1 TB or FW 400. Either drive should be more than sufficient if you're just backing up that relatively small amount of data.
     
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #8
    Not sure where you got those numbers.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152102
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817145038

    $100 + $20 = $120. For a 1 TB Seagate drive you pay about $10 extra.
     
  9. Parsec macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    N53 E004
    #9
    Hard drives have become quite silent these days.

    Apparently, you don't need the speed of firewire. I'd get the USB, unless you think you'll need all of your USB ports for other things. That might be another reason to go with firewire.

    If you only fill up 50 Gb right now, you probably won't fill up those disks in the near future, but I still remember people saying that my father would never ever fill his 20 Mb (yes...Megabytes) hard drive back in the 80's. However, if you use it with time-machine, it will fill the drive completely over (not a very long) time.

    And yes, let us know.
     
  10. croy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #10
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #11
    Ah ok. I remember that I had a few enclosures with USB/1394 ports on them, but they're all IDE drives. I guess IDE drives are only going up to 500 GB these days.

    Well anyways, my not being able to read aside;

    I would consider making your own drive with a capacity ~500 GB instead of going for a 1 TB now. You'll get a good warranty with a Seagate or whatever and having a 1 TB drive fail on you really sucks. Better yet buy two and have a backup of the backup.
     
  12. The SpinDoctor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #12
    If I were you, I would get a My Book Studio edition which is slightly more expensive (in the UK) but enables you to use both.

    Also, I would use firewire as I have better places that USB ports can be used at.
     
  13. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #13
    Just to clarify for folks, Seagate still manufactures a 750Gb IDE drive. That is the top size that was ever made with an IDE/PATA interface.
     

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